by Joe Buonfiglio
I’ve become so disgusted with social media — Facebook privacy scandals, Twitter trolls, even this blog has me questioning my whole role in degrading the online experience — that I decided to shut down the whole goddamn thing! Just flip the metaphoric light switch to the “off” position and have my entire online presence simply go dark.
And then, I wimped out. I stopped the Big Delete of all my social-platform accounts just before pulling the trigger.
As “Are you sure you want to delete your account?” popped up to challenge my decision, I began to second-guess myself.
What if I was making a mistake?
Won’t I miss all the fun parts and family and friends? Isn’t that all worth the bullshit — the intolerable bullshit — I’ve endured playing the clown of the social-media circus?
My immediate answer was, “FUCK NO! Social media is a stinking cesspool of shit populated by pure, unadulterated evil writhing in a communication mire of imbeciles hoping to make a name for themselves by conquering anyone disagreeing with them via shoving the face of perceived adversaries deeper under the shit than they find themselves!”
Now while that might seem a bit in the realm of a drama queen, it did beg the question, “Am I in danger of becoming one of those— those— those absolute assholes?”
So, please pardon me if this post diverts from my usual banality in Absurdist literary fare to something wrapped in the cloak of true Absurdism: American politics. Inspired by a recent tweet of mine that begged the question of whether or not the good old US of A has moved from being politically ideological to idiot-logical, I thought it worthy of my time as a writer and yours as a reader to if not thoroughly flesh out and expand upon this notion, at least explore it slightly beyond a limited character-count quick jab on social media. I wish to merely pose a query to which we can all ponder and debate … CIVILLY, FOR ONCE!
Now, I really don’t want to get into the motivations of our politicians; the vast majority of them seem to not give a shit about our country beyond maintaining personal power by preserving party dominance. Most of them see their job after being elected as immediately working to be reelected. That’s it; a perpetual-motion machine of political existence for existence’s sake. No, I’m more concerned about those political hacks’ and whores’ constituency — “We the People” — In other words, US.
And that brings me to this tweet:
That pretty much sums it up. See, like Domino’s, social media is only the delivery vehicle; WE are the pizza itself. The collective “we” in America seem to have given up on seeking “the truth” and only desire to reinforce “my truth.” And the longer this tumor upon the lungs of democracy is allowed to fester and grow, the greater the chance our democratic republic dies.
What do we do about it?
At this point, damned if I know. We have gone from being ruthlessly ideological to outright IDIOTlogical. Government isn’t the problem; it is just a reflection, the mirror image of ourselves. WE THE PEOPLE are the real problem. We’ve reached the point where truth is but a lie if it dares to in any way challenge MY truth. This myopic belief system is but a cancer that seems to have metastasized from the general population into all of our once-trusted, once-revered institutions; threatening to bring them down with our rageful, willfully propagandized ignorance. I truly believe it has gone too far for our nation to ever recover from the utterly destructive effects of our unyielding polarization overriding any empathy, sympathy or compromise.
So yes, I am considering shuttering all of my social media. While I know full well that will not solve the problem, solve anything, at least I will be less likely to have to witness the excruciating end, the horrible death rattle of this once-great nation when it comes. You all battle it out on social media. As for me, I’m going to turn that whole cacophony of crap off, sit here sipping coffee, eating pancakes and reading a good book.
… an Absurdist book, of course.
© 2018 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2018 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.